4CBS Evening News
5CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley
. >> jeff: back in washington president obama and house speaker john boehner did meet at the white house this afternoon. for more talks on the fiscal cliff. details were not released but both sides say lines of communication remain open. on face the nation erskine bowles co-chair of the bipartisan deficit commission told bob schieffer he's a bit more optimistic than he was a week ago. >> we were going through the cab ukee theatre, one side making an offer, the other rejecting it and that is pretty natural in any deal. but you know, they've started to tango now and you know any time you got two guys in there tangoing you got a chance to get it done. >> meanwhile urging both sides to get this done jeffrey immelt chairman of general electric spoke to charlie rose. >> i would say the business community almost universitily speaks with one voice that this needs to get done and get done now. and moving it to next year is just failure. >> jeff: you can see the full jeffrey immelt interview first thing tomorrow on cbs this morning. >> big business is to the alone in wanting to avoid the fiscal cl
letting up today 20 white house and the republicans in congress. >> reporter: in his saturday weekly address, president obama signaled he is open to making cuts on programs like medicare and medicaid if republicans agree to raise tax rates for the rich. >> i'm willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other americans who depend on it. and i'm willing to make more entitlement spendings cuts on top of the $1 trillion in spending cuts i signed into law last year. >> reporter: his remarks came one day after house speaker john boehner announced the talkes were stalled. >> well, this isn't a progress report because there's no progress to be report. >> reporter: his democratic counter-part ploals blamed boehner for the stalemate. >> what they offered in return was an empty letter lacking in specifics. >> reporter: such is the state of negotiations 23 days before the deadline when federal income tax rates will revert to higher clinton-era leveles, a 2% payroll tax cut will expire, and long-term unemployment benefits will dry up for over two millio
, and noe republican speaker of the house and president obama seem no closer to a budget deal. as you know, if they don't come up with a spending compromise, most americans will see a hefty tax increase automatically on january 1. major garrett is covering for us at the white house tonight. major? h reporter: scott, two senior white house officials tell us the next 48 hours are crucial. until republicans relent on raising income tax rates for households earning more than $250,000, the democrats will not discuss g.o.p. demand for cuts medicaitlement programs like te house and medicaid. this white house photo of president obama talking yesterday to house speaker john boehner does not convey the 2%se and difficult reality. the g.o.p. leader told mr. obama he wanted to permanently extend all current tax rates, including reose for the two 2% of earners. > there were some offers that conversahanged back and forth yesterday, and the president and r:had a pretty frank conversation about just how far apart we are. >> reporter: we asked white hinge spokesman jay carney today uhere things stood.
obama and house speaker john boehner talked by phone today about the so-called fiscal cliff-- those tax hikes for most americans and massive spending cuts that will kick in the first of the year unless two strike a budget deal. a republican source tells us that the president has cut his demand for more tax revenue from $1.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion, but the source said that the lower figure is no more acceptable to republicans. but the negotiations continue in private. the united states has a lot at stake in the syrian civil war. president obama has suggested that american firepower might be needed to prevent the dictatorship from using chemical weapons. we've learned that tomorrow the administration will endorse one of the rebel groups that is now fighting to overthrow bashar al- assad. who are these new american allies? clarissa ward found their leader in brussels. >> reporter: moaz al-khatib is the man chosen to lead a newly formed coalition of syria's opposition groups. what does it mean to be recognized by the u.s.? "the u.s. administration has big influence globally" he told us.
bracket taxes go up $3,500 a year. mr. obama and the republican speaker of the house talked this over today and here's major garrett at the white house. major? >> reporter: scott, there is a code of silence the white house and speaker boehner's try to apply to these phone conversations, releasing as few details as possible to protect the underlying negotiations. nevertheless, cbs news has learned the following: the speaker and the president spoke before treasury secretary geithner's comments about going over the cliff. the conversation was described as brief, meaning shorter than the 28-minute conversation speaker boehner and the president had last week. also those familiar with the conversation tell me-- or do not used words like "curt," "frank" and "direct" meaning it was probably more gentle. also i'm told scott this is no longer a time for check-in phone calls between these two leaders. everything now is substantive about the underlying merit of what treasury secretary geithner. republicans believe this can be done through tax loopholes not raising rates on the wealthiest american
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